How did Drupal start?
Dries Buytaert, (born 19 November 1978 in Belgium), PhD dissertation in Computer Science on January 27, 2008 at the University of Ghent, started between 1998 and 1999 to develop Drupal almost by accident.
While studying at the University along with colleagues, Dries began to explore wireless Internet. Together they set out to build a Local Area Network. Because a lot of communication and information exchange about the LAN project was needed, Dries decided to develop a Message Board. This "Message Board" was shared on a LAN and after Dries graduated he decided to move the "Message Board" to a live website on the Internet.
Initially Dries wanted to register the site under the Dutch word "Dorpje" which in English means "little village". While registering the domain, Dries made an error and typed "Drop" instead of "Dorpje". He decided to keep the domain because the name was not owned by anyone. So the first Internet website powered by an online version of Drupal was Drop.org.
After almost a year, around 2000 and 2001, Dries saw a lot of interest from people that provided him with new ideas and features to add to the "Message Board". Dries also carried out a broad research in the direction of RSS feeds, Content Moderation and other Internet technologies.
As the interest in his software grew, so did the requests to add new features. Dries decided to open source his software so that the community is able to experiment on their own and leave him the time and space to do his own experimentation and developing. It was at this moment that the "Message Board" software became the Open Source Software "Drupal". Drupal itself is the product of many unexpected sequence of events.
One of these events was related to the kerneltrap.org website (still exists today), owned by Jeremy Andrews. Dries wrote him an email suggesting that Jeremy should convert his website to Drupal. They then worked together to make the site handle unexpected surges in traffic. As a result of their collaboration, Jeremy developed a few modules for Drupal and also wrote many articles about his Drupal modules and how Drupal works. He focused on the technical characteristic of Drupal. This caused a broad wave of interest in Drupal from the community.
Today Drupal.org is a well established community with over 630,000 subscribed members (correct as of 08/2011) and provide support and documentation for Drupal implementation. Millions of copies of the Drupal application has been downloaded by the community. Drupal.org was first registered on: 26-Apr-2001 by a member of the community and given to Dries.
Drupal is powering a broad range of websites for small, medium and large companies. The Drupal community is working hard on the next version of Drupal, bringing a lot of enhancements to this great gift from Dries Buytaert. The core developers, the Drupal Association Members and the community collaborate tirelessly everyday to enhance Drupal. You can download it free from this website.
Thanks to the great efforts of all involved with Drupal, from the developers to the Drupal.org Site Maintainers, from the Handbook maintainers and Book contributors to the many people who develop Contributed Modules and Contributed Themes to the new members that every day submit new code and posting issues for testing and expanding Drupal into new areas.